CHARLESTON -- Roland “Rollie” Dean Spaniol, age 86, went to his Heavenly Home on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 while at Hilltop Skilled Nursing and Rehab. A memorial service honoring and celebrating his life will be scheduled at a later date. Thoughtful donations in his honor may be made to the Coles County SWCD Foundation Scholarship. Gifts may be mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920.
Rollie was born June 17, 1931 in Blackstone, Illinois the son of the late Raymond and Venus (Lawrence) Spaniol. He married Lois Gaspardo on June 12, 1952. In addition to Lois, his loving wife of 65 years, Rollie is survived by sons, Mike (Carolyn) Spaniol of Sunriver, Oregon, Dr. Jack (Colleen) Spaniol of Bloomington, Illinois, Lee (Connie) Spaniol of Lerna, Illinois, a daughter, Jane (Jeff) Johns of Williamsport, Indiana, daughter-in-law, Shari (Mark) Buchellew, grandchildren, David (Stacey) Gant, Jeremiah (Jessica) Johns, Jacob (Tracy) Johns, Joy (Adam) Burton, Julia (Bryan) Kroeze, Jenna (Daniel) Osborne, Jordon Johns, Zach Spaniol, Nick (Brooke) Spaniol, Jacqueline Spaniol, Kailee Spaniol, Lauren Spaniol, Kaitlin (Myles) Titus, Scott (Sara) Spaniol, Jessica (Brian) Swenson, and 13 great-grandchildren. Rollie also leaves behind sisters Lois (Bill) Ross, Clara (Stan) Farley, Marcia Cox, and a brother, Keith (Diane) Spaniol. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by sons, Alan and Bill Spaniol, two brothers, Gordon and Lawrence Spaniol and a brother-in-law, Daren Cox.
Rollie graduated in 1949 from Cornell High School, and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Rollie was a Wedding Photographer with help from his wife Lois before beginning his career as a business educator at Lostant and Pekin High Schools. Accepting a position at Eastern Illinois University’s School of Business, Rollie & Lois moved their family to Charleston in 1960. He taught business classes for 38 years at EIU and was the founder and director of EIU’s Computer Services.
In addition to his role as an educator, Rollie was involved in numerous civic and professional organizations. A dedicated conservationist, he was an active member of the Walnut Council, Lincoln Heritage RC&D, the Coles Co. Soil & Water Conservation District where he served as a Board Member, the Embarras River Management Association, ICCP and founded the electronic E-recycling program. He was also a member of Quail Unlimited, Natural Resource Conservation, Pheasants Forever and Arbor Day. Rollie and Lois were both recognized as the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year for the excellent forest management of their tree farm.
Always one for adventure, Rollie was a single engine pilot owning a Tri-Pacer plane. He and Lois traveled to many places including Alaska on New Year’s Eve to see the Northern lights. Rollie was a running enthusiast; having completed the Boston Marathon twice and being a part of the EIU Run for Your Life Fitness Program. He was also a long-time member of Bent Tree Golf Course, Charleston Country Club and the Elks.
Rollie will be remembered as a devoted husband, and a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He touched the lives of many and strived to leave the earth a better place.
Rollie’s memorial website is available at www.adamsfuneralchapel.com where condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on obituaries.